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Legpress-Squat Carryover ?


Are the two related at all? If i squat much less then my legpress- my weight, is it becaurse i have a weak back?


It's because of a laundry list of things.

Lots of guys can legpress a ton but squatting that much is a whole new game.

If you were to use the leg press in addition to a solid base built around squatting and other accessory work I imagine it would help plenty.


i generally do squats and deadlifts on my "leg days". Did some legpress to give my back a break, noticed that it had increased quite much, even thou my squat hadn't increased as much.


Personally I hate the leg press and feel it puts more stress on the back, espcially the lower back. Also keep in mind that the leg press does not move perpendicular to the ground, it's angled travel reducec the actual weight moved.


Because the weak point for squats is often the posterior chain, I don't think you'll get that much carryover from the leg press.

That said, you can do a heck of a lot of work using the leg press, so it isn't like you can't put it to good use.



It is because there is not a very good carry over.

About a 2 years ago there was this guy who would come in the gym and make a huge deal out of his leg press.

He would wrap his knees, get all worked up, pile a bazillion plates on the machine, and then move the weight about 4 inches a bunch of times with his hands on his knees, and make a big show of slamming it on the catch when finished. He had a little butt buddy who followed him around like Boo-Boo Bear.

If we were lucky enough to be squatting on the same day, he would cast a lot of tough guy glances our way, and seemingly make it a point to walk past us as part of his big psyche up routine.

Anyway, one day I was completely sick of him and as he was walking past I said, "You are the first person I have ever seen make such a big deal out of leg presses. Are you training for the leg press Olympics?"

He got kind of flustered and I then followed up with , "If you have to get that worked up to leg press, you must be absolutely scared to death of a barbell on your back."

He mumbled something about a bad back, of course, to which I told him I would be absolutely shocked if he could perform one full range of motion rep with 225.

He chose not to take me up on it. I haven't seen him since, don't know if that is a coincidence or not.

Moral of the story, as Captain Kirk once said, and I am paraphrasing, the only way to build a big squat is to squat.


Guy walks into the doctors office and says "I have a weak back." The doctor says "when did you get it?" The guy says "about a week back."

Okay sorry......

Seriously, I've found the leg press to be a great tool to work with the Barbell Squat.

As many of you guys who have been training a while will understand, variety is what keeps you going. If you knew that the only leg movement that you were ever going to perform was the Barbell Squat I don't think you would be very excited about all of your future workouts.

Obviously, the Squat (in all it's various forms) is the king of leg movements, in my opinion. However, for variety it's nice to have something like the Leg Press Machine available. And in a recent study (I think Poliquin stated this) the Leg Press actually caused more hypertrophy to the quad than the Barbell Squat!

Interesting stuff, if it's true. Also, in a recent survey most higher level bodybuilders actually perform the Leg Press more than they do the Barbell Squat. This could mean lot's of things, which are not worth going into right now.

Here's how I use it: I train legs twice per week. The first session I Barbell Squat. The second leg day I use the Leg Press machine, and some other machines.

It's all good.

Variety is the spice of life!


Nice post.

When you thik about it, because you can Leg Press even 1000 pounds for reps means what relative to an actual Barbell Squat?


Just think about it like this. All the reinforced steel bars that make up the supports of the leg press are doing what your torso does when you do a squat. I think when people talk about functional exercises, no where is it more apparent than the difference between these two.. and someone had a great post about how much you are actually pushing due to the angle. Its almost as if someone made a machine for the purpose of moving alot of weight, not for building a body...


I was just about to post a question on the leg press. I did them yesterday and noticed some pain in my lower back as soon as I was done. I was using heavy weight (5 sets of 4). I can still feel it today when I sit or stand up.

I do squat and dl often, but like to use the leg press to move some heavier weight. This is the first time I've felt this pain from the leg press. It almost feels like I did a ton of back extensions.


Well, that's a stupid reason to do a leg press. Also, you shouldn't round your back. Not when you're squatting, not when you're deadlifting and not when you're legpressing either.


My experience is this: There is not much carry over. I find the leg-press a useful tool for hypertrophy. My legs blew-the-fuck-up doing light weight, high rep leg presses. My squats did not reap much benefit, however. My legs got so big, I stopped any weighted leg work for years. I looked like a bowling pin. I restarted legs intermttantly a few years back and now and back to full leg attacks, albeit, no leg press. I want a strong squat. Hypertrophy is not my goal.

So my take is this, if you want hypertrophy in your legs, the leg press is a must have part of your routine. For strength gains in your squats, it helps a little, but not much.


Poliquin's findings support your claim; he said it was superior for leg hypertrophy not leg strength.


I like leg presses, they make your legs stronger. However, squats make EVERYTHING stronger. Because of this, they are no replacement for squats. But, they are another good tool to to have in your arsenal.


Leg press is no substitute for squats, but its a good complement I think. I can't do both heavy squats and deads close together, my low back gets shot. If I use front squats or leg press I can work my quads and not fry my erectors.


Could it not be argued that by increasing your quad size it gives you a greater potential to squat higher weights cos of the increased availability of muscle?

Obviously you need to train your squat to learn how to recruit more muscles fibres... (but since there's also more there as a result of doing leg presses it might help??)


My teenage son plays FB. Last year, he did leg presses with little results. This year, again post season, he's squatting and he is getting huge! IMO, stick with free weights and skip the LP.

BTW: I know its tough to compare a teen to yourself, just stating results he got.

Good Luck!



The leg press is too subjective. How low to go, stance width, etc. Part of squatting is having a strong back.



No and Hell No!! I hate watching guys load up the leg press machine with 10 plates on each side after doing smith machine squats.

Side note...my college fitness center just had a bench press and leg press contest.
Bench press contest...definitely cool! Leg press contest...the ever continuing downward spiral of the modern "gym."


Leg presses are for the ego.
Squats are for those who actually want to get big and strong.
If your lower back hurts, it's a weak point. Make it stronger instead of avoiding the weakness.

If you want variety that also adds leg size, then do wide stance squats, close stance squats, squats starting from the bottom, bench squats, box squats, zercher squats, hack squats, or front squats. Smith machine squats are in the same category as leg presses. They don't count for anything either.